The Emmanuel College Agriculture Department had the pleasure of hosting an Agriculture Opportunities Question and Answer Session with Georgia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and Madison County Agricultural Educator Cindy Jones on October 1 at Taylor Chapel. The session gave students an opportunity to ask questions about the agriculture industry and employment areas. The Commissioner joined the group via Zoom due to the current hectic harvest season and travel schedule.
Due to the virus and spring food shortage in our local grocery stores, the Commissioner talked about the growth of locally grown food and meat processing employment opportunities and the role of the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Mr. Black mentioned the growing citrus industry in South Georgia and increasing fruit/vegetable production sector for the state. In this area of the state, he encouraged students to look at the poultry industry for career opportunities for any major. Georgia still leads the nation in poultry, pecans, and forestry resources so many jobs in these areas and others are available.
Mrs. Jones talked about growing up with obstacles in life as a woman in agriculture but still pushing forward to meeting her goals in life. She encouraged the students to ask two questions before selecting a career- ” Where do I want to live and what kind of material lifestyle do I want?” Mrs. Jones said that the answer to both of those questions will help students to determine the career of choice. The answer to each will provide a range of jobs that young people can work toward.
Students asked questions of both speakers about life as the Commissioner of Agriculture and as an Agricultural Educator, the growth of Elementary Agricultural Education in schools across the state and how your Christian faith can be shared in the workplace. Both speakers encouraged students to prepare themselves by practicing good soft work skills such as being on time, preparing for an interview and going the extra mile when obtaining a position.
Emmanuel College Agriculture offers two bachelor’s Degrees- Diversified Agriculture and a new program Agricultural Education. Students in both degree paths will have the opportunity to gain hands on experience, network with industry professionals and gain valuable life skills to prepare them for their future. For more information on the degree programs, contact Owen Thomason at firstname.lastname@example.org.